Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Summer of ePublishing

It's September, which signals the final phase of summer. Summer used to be the time of entertaining kids and finding ways to keep them busy. Instead of focusing on kids, this summer I've been focusing on writing and publishing.

I have three non-fiction books out with a publisher. Earlier this summer I decided to do an e-book. To do that, I set up my own company, High Canyon Books. At this point, the company has only one client, me.

 Angel Sometimes is now available as an e-book on Amazon. My plan is to next get it ready for printing. Then I'll work on putting it up on other sites via Smashwords. You may take a different path. I have a good friend who went print first, then Amazon. She has been a wonderful mentor and learning partner. You can check out her book on Amazon.

I've hired a publicist to help once it's out in print.

I keep using the word "I", but I've had a lot of help from friends, both online and in the real world.

 If you're thinking about self-publishing, I recommend you hook up with others like you. You'll have people to turn to when you have questions. There's nothing worse than getting so confused or stuck on something that you're ready to tear your hair out and you have no one to rely on for help.

Remember to always get your manuscript edited before you upload it or put it into print.

If you're thinking of self-publishing your book, this summer is a good time to do it. In some parts of the U.S., summer is almost over, so get your act in gear. If you live in Texas, the summer heat will take you through October, so you've got a bit more time. (I'd insert a smiley face, if I knew how to do one, other than ;-)

What are your plans? e-publishing? Already e-published? Working with a publisher? Writing a book? Tell us in the comments section. While you're there, if you're published, leave the title of your book and one link to where we can look for it.

 Helen Ginger is the author of Angel Sometimes, as well as 3 books in TSTC Publishing’s TechCareers series. You can find two of her short stories in the anthology, The Corner CafĂ©. Her free ezine, Doing It Write, now in its thirteenth year of publication, goes out to subscribers around the globe. You can follow Helen on her blog, Straight From Hel, on Twitter or connect with her on Facebook and LinkedIn. She is also Co-Partner and Webmistress for Legends In Our Own Minds® and the Coordinator of Story Circle Network’s Editorial Services.
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  1. It looks like I might also have a summer of ePublishing, so I will be sure to follow what you are doing with interest. Angel Sometimes sounds intriguing - adding it to my Kindle now.

  2. I'm soon going to have a new site — thanks to a Web designer who's taking over the task I never quite seem to get to . . . or learn to do well. It will be a family-friendly bookstore that will at first offer hard copies of various books my company has published over the last decade. Shortly thereafter, we will also offer e-books, a first for me. So will end my summer of e-publishing — and so will begin a new era of publishing for me.

    Great post, Helen, and an inspiration to move ahead. It's so easy to get in a rut and . . . stagnate.

  3. Thank you Elle. I hope Angel becomes a friend.

    Linda, that is so true. It's so easy to fall into a rut...and so hard sometimes to crawl out!

  4. My latest ebook is Her Handyman on kindle at

    Thanks for letting me share, Helen, and thanks for being such a great editor for my book!

    Morgan Mandel

  5. Very helpful post, but would like to know how much a Publicist costs. I published my first book, "Rory McBreen Video Wars: Vietnam" ( Amazon through CreateSpace in January, put it on Kindle in July, and have only sold 2 in 4 months. I did use one free promotional day on the day of my last book signing and got 43 downloads but it isn't turning into sales.

    What is the best way to get people to hear about your book? My book is about a kid addicted to video gaming who wishes he lived in the games and not real life - and gets his wish. However, he's playing a war game, so it's not very rosy, and he learns gaming is very different from real life.

    Lots of kids would love this book as would their parents. How do I get the word out, without breaking the bank?

  6. Good for you, Helen!
    I have a request: Can you let me know how working with your publicist goes? My publisher and I were having this discussion the other day--how much good a publicist does in today's market. And, what exactly they do now, as opposed to what they used to do. So, any info you can provide would be great!
    And wishing you tons of sales and kudos!

  7. Helen, hooking up with others 'like me' is just too terrifying to consider.

  8. I think ePublishing is where it's at. I hope you will keep us updated with the progress as you learn the ropes!

  9. No hooking up allowed here - we are family entertainment. LOL. Look that expression up at now! I love the new trend of publishing in e-book format first, then offering a print-on-demand option if the title becomes popular. Makes so much more sense on an environmental level. As to costs of publicists - you have a bargain with someone who charges $2,500 a month! I've heard as high as $10,000 a month. Those people better be able to get you articles in major magazines as well as dates on prime time television.

  10. How much it costs really is determined by what the publicist does and how wide you want the net to be cast and who the publicist is.

    Mine is a very close friend who is a former VP at a major publicity firm. She's aiming local for me - local as in Texas, primarily. I have to get the print books done so that I have something to sell at speaking engagements and I have to have it ready so that bookstores can order copies if I can get in-store book signings.

    Because she's a good friend, she's giving me a good rate. It is not in the thousands per month. No way could I afford that!

  11. I am writing and working with a small publishing company, as well as self-publishing.

  12. Helen, were you in the short blog book tours class that I had just for publicists a few years ago? Over in the BBT classroom. The numbers they were discussing made my eyes glaze over. Wow.

  13. No, I don't believe I was, Dani.

    DIY anything having to do with self-publishing will make your eyes glaze over! It's really crazy. I consider myself very lucky to have found the cover artist and publicist that I have.

  14. Thanks for further insights into this wacky business, Helen. One of the things that is obvious from recent posts you've done about this publishing experience is that you went into it with a plan. That is so important. I need to work harder at that end of it.

    Here is the link to one of my e-books, One Small Victory.

  15. Hey Helen, I too was interested to learn about what a publicist does for you. Maybe you can report back—I think many of us would be interested!

  16. Sounds like a blog post, Helen. I wonder if I could get the Little Pickle Press publicist to share some of her background, too, in a separate guest post. Publicist will get you publicity you won't get any other way - you pay for their connections in the industry.

  17. Dani - I agree, a blog post would be excellent. Yes, just getting your book out there and ready to be read by the public is a huge undertaking. It's something we all gladly do because we love to write. However, getting the word out about your books is the hard part! I know sales, have done it for a living, but am finding it incredibly hard to get the word out without huge costs in advertising. Bookstores need to realize they will profit from an author coming in for a signing with self-purchased copies. The store gets a cut but they still say no. They should think of it as free money!

    I have approached my local Costco for a signing. I spoke to the manager and he sent my information to corporate. That was a month ago. So I asked for an update and he told me the same as Barnes & Noble - "It's hard to get a signing for an ebook or something that isn't on the NY Times best seller list". Ridiculous! Costco could sell my book at a discount because their policy is to only garner 14% profit from all sales, so members could buy the book for at least $2 less than off of Amazon. That is another marketing angle, but they still say no. Some people you can't wake up, they are stuck in a rut of How it Was Done for the Last 150 Years.

    Let's get the booksellers out of the stone age!

    Anyone else have any luck with Costco? They would be a great publicity source, if they would get on the ebook bandwagon and join the 21st century.

  18. I wrote a mystery thriller-chiller novel that got legitimate good reviews from the press. Recently I published that book on KINDLE. I got a couple of 5-star ratings from family and friends. I have since asked them not to rate my books as there are enough unbiased readers out there to do it.

    Fortunately, I have my editor, publisher, agent, and typist all in the creative talents of my wife, Jeanne, a North Carolina belle. I was raised in New York City, Manhattan, so the contrast of our backgrounds should make for an interesting novel. .

    Self-Publishing is the alternative to the hassle of finding an agent and publisher and endless submissions by post. At least self-publishing offers a chance for success. As a writer I spent enormous time, money, and effort trying to publish my books with agents and publishers. The downside is that you have to do all the sales marketing yourself.

    I finally decided on self-publishing and it was the best way to go. Ebooks has become a new market for authors, especially if you are self-publishing your own book. I presently have three (3) ebooks on KINDLE bookstore: BLOODGUILTY (a thriller-chiller), SPOOKY MOON STORIES (for kids and young adults, and SECRETS of the UNIVERSE. All are available on KINDLE bookstore by RAYMOND THOR. Click on link:

  19. I finally put Cherry Blossoms in Twilight, a WWII Japan memoir, into e-book format and loaded to Kindle Direct Publishing, Select option in April. The print book came out in 2007 and got a rejuvenation this year as an e-book! I only did 2 free days out of the 5 allowed, but had a literal spring of e-publishing.


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